Cambodia trade unions sidelined in preparations of Draft Trade Union Law

published 08-10-2015 22:00, last modified 22-10-2015 10:45
Clean Clothes Campaign urges the Cambodian government not to pass the Trade Union Law unless genuine and inclusive consultation with civil society and trade unions can be garantueed by the government of Cambodia.

The Cambodian government is currently drafting a new trade union law aimed at regulating the Kingdom’s 3,400 trade unions. However the government refuses to make the draft public after the last round of consultation with civil society and trade unions in October 2014. Concerns around the draft Law and lack of consultation with affected stakeholders is growing. Trade unions and supporting organizations fear the law will curb their hard won human rights.

Parts of the draft trade union law are not in compliance with ILO conventions 87 (Freedom of association and protection of the right to organize) and 98 (Right to organize and collective bargaining), both ratified by Cambodia, trade unions have commented. Allegedly, the draft also proposes a transfer of power from the court system to a Labour Inspector, foreseen to decide whether a strike is illegal and what legal consequences it would imply.

“The Draft Law poses a direct threat towards the fundamental rights that are enshrined in various international conventions and treaties including those signed and ratified by the Cambodian government, says Carin Leffler from Clean Clothes Campaign. «It is crucial that big buyers like H&M, Zara, Gap, adidas and Puma speak up for worker’s rights. They should send a clear and univocal message to the the Cambodian government and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) that future orders are dependent on a new trade union law in compliance with international standards.» 

One of the articles in the Draft Law grants the government powers to suspend the union if its actions do not meet with the government’s approval, like strikes.

Says Ath Thorn,  president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU): Cambodia, which already has a track record of labour violations, must not digress further by passing the Trade Union Law as currently drafted. Even with the recent changes, the law as currently proposed, will make it harder for workers to unionize and will hinder the struggle for fair living wages and just working conditions. Therefore, we demand that the government make the current draft of the law public, incorporate the changes proposed by the trade unions and engage us in further consultation.”

The Cambodian garment industry employs around 700.000 people, mostly women, and bring clothing to millions of consumers globally. During the wage protests in January last year union members and representatives were severely harassed and discriminated. The military violence on January 2 and 3 killed at least 4 people and almost 40 were injured.

 

See also
Brands must speak out about violations in Cambodia Brands must speak out about violations in Cambodia

Labour rights organizations are deeply concerned about the closing of democratic and civil society ...

Zara, Next, Mango Slammed for Leaving Workers Without Wages in Turkish Factory Zara, Next, Mango Slammed for Leaving Workers Without Wages in Turkish Factory

Workers at the Bravo Tekstil factory complex in Istanbul, Turkey are demanding their back wages and ...

Open letter: After five years, it is high time to pay severance to 345 workers who made adidas and Mizuno shoes Open letter: After five years, it is high time to pay severance to 345 workers who made adidas and Mizuno shoes

Today five years ago, a group of Indonesian workers started a strike after their employer had ...

M&S, Bonmarché and Nygård should compensate Cambodian workers after factory closure M&S, Bonmarché and Nygård should compensate Cambodian workers after factory closure

The sudden closure of a garment factory linked to UK and Canadian brands has left 208 workers in ...

European Parliament should vote for an investigation into Bangladesh labour violations European Parliament should vote for an investigation into Bangladesh labour violations

Clean Clothes Campaign is today calling on members of the European Parliament to call for a trade ...

Old design are dinner better nearer silent excuse Old design are dinner better nearer silent excuse

On 24 April 2017 the Clean Clothes Campaign network will be remembering those killed and injured at ...

Pressure mounting for UNIQLO to pay Indonesian workers compensation Pressure mounting for UNIQLO to pay Indonesian workers compensation

Following the actions on International Women's Day in Hong Kong, two Indonesian unions protested at ...

CCC urge EU to address Sri Lanka's labour violations prior to re-admission GSP+ CCC urge EU to address Sri Lanka's labour violations prior to re-admission GSP+

Clean Clothes Campaign, IndustriALL Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation ...

Activists demand UNIQLO pay workers what they are due Activists demand UNIQLO pay workers what they are due

On International Women's Day a coalition of global campaigners are organising a series of actions ...

Labour rights groups call for a review of EU-Bangladesh trade agreement following massive crackdown on workers rights

The Clean Clothes Campaign is today joining calls from the global trade unions to demand that the ...

more ...